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Bulgaria’s revolution at the Cathedral

The Bulgarian people quietly overthrew their Communist rulers in March 1990, a few months after the tide of people power had swept through the rest of Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989. However, the revolution was incomplete until June 1992, when a peaceful uprising forced the Orthodox church to atone for its sins. My husband Henry and I were lucky enough to arrive in Sofia on the day crowds gathered outside Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Thousands of people held home-made signs, their attention focused on the Byzantine-style building at the far end of the broad piazza in the centre of the Bulgarian capital. An English-speaking local kindly explained the crowd’s demands: they wanted the…

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Drawing a line in the sand: The UN has a responsibility to protect English speakers in Cameroon

Cameroon President Paul Biya attends the Paris Peace Forum, France, Nov. 12, 2019. CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS Felix Agbor Nkongho is a Cameroonian human-rights lawyer and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa. Rebecca Tinsley is a Canadian journalist and the author of When the Stars Fall to Earth. It is an odd thing to live somewhere gripped by deadly conflict. One may imagine that the pain and challenges of one’s day-to-day life would also weigh heavily on the outside world. But that is not usually the case. In many crises, the rest of the world does not know – or does not want to know. If you live in the English-speaking regions of…

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On the eve of International Day of Education

On the eve of International Day of Education 23 January 2020   ATTENTION Secretary-General of the United Nations Prime Minister of the United Kingdom President of the United States of America Président de la République de France Prime Minister of Canada Secretary-General of The Commonwealth African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security   Dear António, Boris, Donald, Emmanuel, Justin, Patricia, and Smail,   We write to you using your first names because we want you to envision yourselves as schoolchildren, years ago. Think for a moment: what if you had not been educated?   Would you be Secretary-General of the United Nations or the Commonwealth, leaders of the United Kingdom, the USA, France, Canada, and…

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Open Letter to President Macron about Human Rights Abuses in Cameroon

November 12, 2019   Honourable Emmanuel Macron President of the Republic of France Palais de l’Elysée, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris, FRANCE   Dear President Macron:   We, the undersigned scholars, writers, and human rights advocates, write to plead with France to up its engagement in resolving Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis, described by some analysts as “Rwanda in slow motion”.   Specifically, we respectfully urge France to use its considerable influence with the government of President Paul Biya to encourage Cameroon to openly embrace the Swiss-led peace talks, as a means of ending the killings and atrocities being committed in the North West and South West regions of the country. A lasting solution must come…

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Money down the drain? UK military training overseas is unfit for purpose

One of the casualties of the Brexit saga is that major non-Brexit problems aren’t being examined. Military training overseas is no exception. America’s sudden withdrawal from Syria this month is part of a pattern, leaving local security services to fight the West’s war on terror. As jihadists re-surface in the Levant, local security services are putting their training to the test. Britain spends millions of pounds training foreign armies, but real questions are surfacing. Is the training fit for purpose? Does it deliver value for money? And should the UK categorise it as overseas aid? Britain’s development spending is increasingly given to countries because of their geopolitical military and economic value, rather than the effectiveness…

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Events

All Christians are brothers, and all Muslims are brothers – except when their skin is black

How much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? Why do Muslims lose so little sleep over the elimination of their co-religionists in Darfur? South Sudan refugee camp, 2011. Maximilian Norz/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Judging by the millions protesting against president Trump’s policies on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless, empathy is alive and well. Or is it? Trump’s recent immigration ban exempts Christians from Muslim-majority countries, recognizing their status as the world’s most persecuted faith. But how much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? And why do Muslims who care about the plight of the Palestinians lose so little sleep over the systematic elimination of their black…

Why is Obama Silent About Meriam?

Last week a woman gave birth while chained to a prison wall in Sudan. But as soon as baby Maya is weaned, her mother will hang for the crime of ‘apostasy’. Meriam Ibrahim considers herself a Christian. Although her father was a Muslim, he abandoned her Christian mother when Meriam was a child. The twenty-seven-year-old Meriam compounded her ‘crime’ by marrying a Christian, a US citizen, and now she faces death. The head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, Hillary Clinton and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have condemned Meriam’s sentence. But President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are silent . Their failure to join the global chorus of outrage at Sudan’s warped interpretation…

PRACTICAL HELP FOR SURVIVORS OF GENOCIDE

Rebecca believes it isn't enough to be informed about genocide - we need to support the resilient and resourceful survivors of genocide who reject the label 'victim.' That's why she founded Network for Africa, a registered charity in the USA and UK. Please click here to learn about Network for Africa's practical projects offering a helping hand to survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and survivors of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda. Thank you.

Featured Articles

All Christians are brothers, and all Muslims are brothers – except when their skin is black

How much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? Why do Muslims lose so little sleep over the elimination of their co-religionists in Darfur? South Sudan refugee camp, 2011. Maximilian Norz/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Judging by the millions protesting against president Trump’s policies on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless, empathy is alive and well. Or is it? Trump’s recent immigration ban exempts Christians from Muslim-majority countries, recognizing their status as the world’s most persecuted faith. But how much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? And why do Muslims who care about the plight of the Palestinians lose so little sleep over the systematic elimination of their black…

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Nigeria and the deadly political legacy of military rule

            ‘Congratulations to our governor on his first year in office,’ reads the vast hording by the main Abuja-Jos road. A chubby-cheeked man with perfect teeth beams down on passing motorists. You don’t need to read the small print to know the poster was paid for by the businessmen who bankrolled the successful candidate. Fifty miles further along the same road another benevolent ruler favours travellers with his cherubic grin. ‘My heart goes out to all the people of south Kadema,’ reads the inscription. Meanwhile, his grateful voters carefully negotiate the atrocious highway between Nigeria’s capital and Jos, a city of nearly a million. In the words of a local…

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Why Isn’t Saudi Arabia On Trump’s List Of Banned Muslim Countries?

Rebecca Tinsley Journalist and human rights activist The Kingdom and its school books remain the source of hatred. Why doesn’t President Trump’s executive order include Saudi Arabia, the country of origin of 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11? And why does the US State Department refrain from pushing The Kingdom to drop the incitement to commit violence from the text books it exports around the world? Some years after 9/11, Saudi Arabia eventually promised to revise its hate-filled school books by 2008. Since then, the State Department has exaggerated the extent to which anti-Semitic and anti-Christian bigotry have been purged from the Saudi curriculum. In fact, analysts believe, US officials have covered-up for the Saudis, failing to ask…

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No more partying in Congo Russia

REBECCA TINSLEY 9 December 2016 On the UN International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, we are reminded: if western voters are angered by globalisation, for Nigeria its by-products are far more deadly.   “Homes and businesses have been wrecked by firebombs, churches are blackened shells, and only Muslims are safe.” Image courtesy of author.“The attack on our town began at midnight,” explained the district leader, a tall, slender man wearing a Manchester United shirt. “We called the security services immediately, and we kept phoning them, but they never arrived. So, the terrorists took their time, working their way through the streets systematically, house by house, killing the…

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